EMS Turnout Gear?


Forum Chief
I work for a city-operated municipal 3rd service and shorts in the summer are specifically allowed in our uniform regulations.
County third service here and same deal about shorts

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Forum Deputy Chief
Old thread;

But I bought EMS bunker pants on clearance at FDIC years ago: great in heavy rain, great when it is 15 or 20 below 0 F. only time I wear them. I have worn them on winter camps as a Scout Master a few timers too.


The fire extinguisher is not just for show
Going back to the original questions, it is my belief that all EMS personnel should be provided turnout gear, provided they have a need for it. Meaning, if you are expected to be operating in the hot zone at an MVA (being inside a car while disentanglement is occurring), than you need proper PPE. If you are expected to be anywhere near a house fire, you should have some level of PPE. if you are expected to go on a construction site, you should have the proper level of PPE. if you are expected to be providing patient care in the decon area, than you should be issued proper PPE. All this PPE should be provided by your employer, as mandated by OSHA; should you choose to upgrade what they give you, that is your choice, but if not, employer should be providing it.

The corollary to that is, if you don't do any of the above, you don't need it. So if you pull up to an MVA, and the FD is responsible for all patient care while in the car, and they remove the patient and they magically appear on your stretcher, no need for turnout gear. If you pull up to a construction site, and the FD's job is to go and get the patient and bring them to you in the parking lot (while providing all the appropriate levels of care), no need for turnout gear. if at a house fire, you are supposed to be a block away from anything burning, no need for PPE.

It all boils down to how your particular agency operates, and how their individual SOPs are written, as well as what their employee expectations are.

So if your employer tells you to stay out of the car, as the FD handles everything because you aren't issued the appropriate PPE, and you get in the car, and get hurt, OSHA will not take action against your employer, because you broke the rules, and went where you weren't supposed to go.

If I did it all over again, I'd likely buy my own helmet again.... and maybe gloves. But no way would I ever purchase my own turnout coat or pants, those should be provided by my employer.